Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico

Research passport

Human Resources (HR) arrangements for researchers in SLaM

If you are not employed by the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) but your research will involve SLaM patients, data or facilities, you may need to obtain an appropriate HR arrangement with SLaM  before your research can begin in SLaM.  Note that this is in addition to the normal requirements of ethical review, HRA approval and NHS capacity and capability review for the specific project.

The type of HR arrangement you need can be assessed by the R&D office. This is done in accordance with the principles set out by the NIHR in its Research in the NHS: HR Good Practice Resource Pack, as part of the R&D governance process at SLaM. This Resource Pack describes the details of the Research Passport System, which is the process to be followed by researchers wishing to conduct research within the NHS. 

Researchers should please familiarise themselves with the process flowcharts and guidance documents available on the IRAS website.

Depending on the nature of your proposed research, it may be necessary to undergo certain pre-engagement checks, such as:

The Resource Pack referred to above sets out the procedure for researchers to follow in order to demonstrate that the relevant pre-engagement checks have been carried out in line with the NHS Employment Check Standards. It is your employer’s responsibility to ensure that checks performed meet the requirements of relevant safeguarding and health and safety legislation.

The algorithm of research activity and pre-engagement checks provides guidance on the requirements for specific research situations. NHS host organisations are obliged to ensure that checks performed are commensurate with your research role, the type of research activity you will be undertaking, and the NHS duty of care.

Where required, any new or additional pre-engagement checks should be arranged through your substantive employer. On occasion, however, it may be necessary for SLaM to repeat specific checks and/or request that additional pre-engagement checks are undertaken, and SLaM reserves the right to do so. It is advisable to contact SLaM's HR Good Practice/Research Passport Lead (see below) early in the study set-up phase to discuss the pre-engagement checks that will be required and ensure that these are done in good time.

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) aims to process 95% of standard checks within two weeks and 90% of enhanced checks within four weeks. Please factor sufficient time into your Research Passport application to allow for this. You also need to allow time for your employer to work with you to complete and submit your DBS application form.

You will also need to allow sufficient time to complete an occupational health assessment form. Bear in mind that, depending on your research activity, this may result in you requiring additional checks and/or immunisations. Please note some immunisations can take up to six months to complete. Please refer to the Department of Health’s "Green Book" if you require further details.


Download the Research Passport form:

Please also refer to the IoPPN application process flowchart below before you start the process of applying for a Research Passport:

IoPPN-specific research passport process flowchart 

IoPPN passport checklist

The above guidance is specific to the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience.

For all questions/queries in relation to the procedure for obtaining a research passport/honorary research contract please contact us.

For staff employed by SLaM NHS FT who wish to conduct their research at another NHS site and require an NHS-to-NHS proforma confirmation of pre-engagement checks, this will be done by SLaM HR and not the R&D office.  Please contact SLaM HR at the Maudsley Hospital.

Transparency notice for use of the Research Passport

A Research Passport application involves processing of your personal information by your substantive employer and each NHS organisation that you request access to. This may include sensitive information, for example about your occupational health status and any criminal convictions you may have. To safeguard your rights, the Research Passport application form and process have been designed to use the minimum personally-identifiable information possible. The purpose of processing your personal information is to ensure your suitability to undertake the research activities, provide you with an Honorary Contract and/or a Letter of Access, to maintain records about who has access to which organisations to undertake research, and for quality control. Your substantive employer and the lead NHS organisation will keep your personal information for this purpose for the duration of your Research Passport. Each additional NHS organisation that grants access to you will keep your personal information for this purpose for the duration of your access to that organisation.
This personal information is:
• Provided directly by you in completing the application form, and in the additional documents that you provide to support your application.
• Processed by your substantive employer using the information they already hold about you, and provided by them when they complete their sections of the form.
• Processed by the lead NHS organisation, and each additional NHS organisation that you request access to, and provided by them when they complete their sections of the form. Without this processing of your personal information, it will not be possible for any NHS organisation to provide you with an Honorary Research Contract and/or a Letter of Access.
A number of separate data controllers will be involved in processing your personal information:
• Your substantive employer, as named in section 4 of the application form, will act as a data controller for the information it uses and shares about you for the stated purpose.
• Each NHS organisation that completes and is named in section 8 of the application form will act as a data controller for the information it uses and shares about you for the stated purpose. Each data controller is responsible for looking after your information and using it properly and may choose to provide you with additional information on how they will process your data.
You have the following rights regarding your personal information:
• To be informed – you can ask a data controller what information they are processing about you and why.
• Access – you can ask a data controller to see the information they hold about you, and obtain a copy.
• Rectification – you can ask a data controller to correct inaccurate information about you.
• Erasure – you can ask a data controller to delete the information they hold about you.
• Restriction – you can ask a data controller not to process information about you if the information is inaccurate, processed unlawfully, or no longer needed for the stated purpose.
Note that if using these rights makes it impossible for a data controller to continue to fulfil the stated purpose, your Research Passport and/or your access to some or all NHS organisations may be withdrawn. If you want to ask about your rights, or have any other questions or complaints about how a data controller has handled your personal information, you can contact the person named for that organisation in the appropriate section of the Research Passport application form. They can forward your query to the data controller’s Data Protection Officer as needed. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive, or believe that your personal data is being processed in a way that is not lawful, you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).